Nick Matthew column: Improving Owls must act fast in the transfer market

Keiren Westwood
Keiren Westwood
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One of the big positives Sheffield Wednesday could take from last season was that they never flirted with relegation.

They were always in that middle pack. If they had been offered a mid-table finish at the start of the season, I think most fans, including myself, would have accepted that. They definitely progressed and did better than the season before.

Defensively they were superb. Keiren Westwood had a fantastic season and deserved to be included in the PFA Championship Team of the Year. It is crucial they hang on to him and their better players this summer.

It was good the new chairman, Dejphon Chansiri, came in before the end of the season as it gave him an opportunity to get his feet under the table. There has been a bit of upheaval with Adam Pearson leaving their sporting director by committee but everything seems to be heading in the right direction.

It is important Wednesday waste no time with their recruitment drive during the close season. As a Wednesday fan, I know that in the past it has always been quite frustrating that it gets to the last week of pre-season and we are still bringing in players. They never seem to get players in early.

One of the best things about signing Westwood last year was that it was done early. If they can get their business done quickly in the transfer market, then that would be great.

Wednesday have got a delicate balancing act for next season. They are clearly very solid at the back and had one of the best defensive records in the league. Now how do you build on that without sacrificing what has made you successful in the first place. That’s a problem I have with my game. I am more of a defensive minded player and play things safe. I needed to get the basics right and then find a way to evolve my game and become more attacking without losing my strengths. If Wednesday ship a load of goals in the first few games, then the pressure is on and you start to panic a little bit.

For the Owls to make an assault on the play-offs, they must get their signings bedded in, a style of play needs to be established and they need to keep faith with Stuart Gray who has done a good job up to this point. Gray has earned the right to be the boss and needs to be given time. The committee, which has been set-up, can have a big input on transfer dealings but Gray must have the final say on who comes in.

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